Shop Safety


Personal Safety

  • Always dress appropriately. No loose clothing- Ties, scarves, loose sleeves, jewelry etc. are prohibited.
  • Wear appropriate shoes- No sandals or open toed shoes.
  • Always tie back long hair, including long beards, such that it is not able to hang in front of face/neck.
  • Use brushes, hooks or other tools to remove chips and shavings. Never use hands, fingers or compressed air.
  • Use the required personal protective equipment (PPE):
    1. Everyone must wear safety glasses while in the shop.
    2. No gloves while machining.
    3. Wear disposable gloves when working with adhesives.

Shop Environment: Housekeeping Best Practices

  • Prevent slip/trip hazards: wipe up any spills immediately.
  • Clean work area as needed.
  • Maintain clear aisles and orderly storage of stock and supplies.

Shop Environment: Don’ts

  • DO NOT WORK ALONE! Always use the buddy system.
  • Do not remove, displace or damage a machine guard.
  • Do not prop open doors to the studio or shop or do anything to defeat
    the locks.
  • Do not leave machines running unattended.
  • Do not throw hazardous materials in the regular trash. Ask how to dispose of something if you are unsure.

Self Awareness: Machine Operation

  • Never use a machine or power tool until you have been trained and are knowledgeable on its safe use.
  • Always keep fingers and hands clear of the point of operation by using push sticks, hooks and pliers.
  • Safety is your top priority in the shop, if you have questions, ASK!
  • Assess and appreciate the machines:
         o Know which parts move, which are stationary, and which are sharp.
         o Double check that your workpiece is securely held.
         o Always remember to remove chuck keys and wrenches.

Self Awareness: Safe Conduct in the Shop

  • Do not become distracted or distract someone else while operating shop tools.
  • If you are fatigued, take a break.
  • Know your resources: Who is in charge of the shop? Shop specific rules? Operator’s manuals?
  • Listen to the machine. If something doesn’t sound right, turn it off and tag, “Out of Service”.


  • It’s a privilege to work in MIT shops, violations of these rules may result in the loss of privilege to work in MIT shops.
  • Always remember, the best safety devise is between our ears!

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